25 IT Service Management Experts to Watch in 2017

Posted by on March 14, 2017

25 IT Service Management Experts to Watch in 2017

IT service management (ITSM) evolved out of the need to effectively and efficiently deliver high-quality IT services in a world being shaped by digital transformation. Today, that digital transformation is only accelerating, calling on IT professionals to evolve their ITSM strategies to position their organizations for success and lead them into the future.

Keeping a pulse on emerging technologies, new trends and best practices, and industry discussions can help inspire you and your organization’s transformation efforts. Luckily, there are dozens of industry experts who can offer some of that needed inspiration.

Below we feature 25 IT and ITSM experts to watch this year for industry insights, best practices, and examples of how to lead transformation efforts within your organization.

1. Stephen Mann

Principal Analyst and Content Director, ITSM Tools

Stephen MannStephen Mann has been working in the IT industry for 26 years and counting, holding positions with Tata Consultancy Service and Forrester Research. Last year, he joined the team at ITSM.Tools—an ITSM-focused analyst firm—as a Principal Analyst and Content Director. While he’s mostly a ghostwriter these days, he regularly shares insights and helpful content through Twitter and LinkedIn. Follow Stephen on LinkedIn or Twitter.


2. Ollie O'Donoghue

Head of Research and Insight, Service Desk Institute

Ollie O'DonoghueWhile Ollie O’Donoghue studied history at the University of Kent, his career path has lead him to The Service Desk Institute where he’s the Head of Research and Insight. He’s also begun to publish industry insights to LinkedIn Pulse, with his most recent article discussing voice recognition technology making its way into enterprise organizations. Follow Ollie on LinkedIn or Twitter.


3. Jonah Kowall

Vice President of Market Development & Insights, AppDynamics

Jonah KowallJonah Kowall has more than 20 years of industry experience as an analyst, working for companies such as Gartner and Thomson Reuters. As the Vice President of Market Development & Insights for AppDynamics, Jonah has transitioned into more of a strategic role, helping with strategic direction across teams. In addition, Jonah often lends his expertise and insights as a speaker at various conferences and events such as Amazon Web Services Global Summits. Follow Jonah on LinkedIn or Twitter.


4. Kevina Finn-Braun

Director of Product Infrastructure, Service Management, Intuit

Kevina Finn-BraunKevina Finn-Braun has spent more than 18 years in the internet industry, specializing in everything from technology strategy to risk management to systems integration. Before taking on her current role as Director of Product Infrastructure, Service Management at Intuit, Kevina was the ITSM Director of Site Reliability Engineering for SalesForce. Follow Kevina on LinkedIn or Twitter.


5. Steve Buchanan

Author, Microsoft MVP and Regional Solutions Director at Concurrency

Steve BuchananSteve Buchanan has been an IT professional for more than 16 years, holding various positions from infrastructure architect to IT manager. He’s also a five-time Microsoft MVP and author. Steve says he’s focused on transforming IT into a strategy revenue generating partner for businesses and driving digital transformation. Currently, he’s a Regional Solutions Director at Concurrency. Follow Steve on LinkedIn or Twitter.


6. Kaimar Karu

Head of Product Strategy & Development, AXELOS

Kaimar KaruWith more than two decades of experience, Kaimar Karu has a diverse IT resume that includes working for startups and recognizable brands such as Skype and Oracle. Current, Kaimar has what he calls the “coolest job in the industry,” working as Head of Product Strategy and Development for AXELOS. In addition, he’s been the president of itSMF Estonia since 2013. Follow Kaimar on LinkedIn or Twitter.


7. Jayne Groll

CEO, DevOps Institute

Jayne GrollJayne Groll has been working in technology and IT for more than 30 years, and has worked for companies across a variety of industries including a fast food chain, nonprofit, and resort company. In 2015, Jayne co-founded the DevOps institute, which aims to be a premier source for aligning industry standards of quality DevOps training and certification services or enterprise IT. Follow Jayne on LinkedIn or Twitter.


8. James Finister

Global ITSM Strategist, Tata Consultancy Services

James FinisterJames Finister has been involved with ITIL for more than 25 years, and actually developed some of the earliest ITIL training courses. He’s also a frequent speaker at international industry events. In his current position as Global ITSM Strategist for Tata Consulting Services (TCS), James is responsible for developing TCS’s thought leadership and offerings across key areas of service management consultancy. Follow James on LinkedIn or Twitter.


9. Eric Vanderburg

Director of Information Systems and Security, JURINNOV, LLC

Eric VandenburgEric Vanderburg has been working in the technology industry for 15 years, and specializes in cyber security and data storage. In fact, he’s earned more than 40 technology and security certifications over the years. In addition to being the Director of Information Systems and Security at JURINNOV, LLC, Eric is also an author, blogger, speaker at conferences, events, and seminars, and regularly publishes articles on IT and security. Follow Eric on LinkedIn or Twitter.


10. Roy Atkinson

Senior Writer/Analyst, UBM Americas - HDI

Roy AtkinsonOnce a touring musician, songwriter, and producer, Roy Atkinson has now spent two decades in the technology and IT industry. Since 2010, he’s been a Senior Writer and Analyst for UBM Americas - HDI, a global media business that brings technology communities together through live events, online content, and other custom services. Follow Roy on LinkedIn or Twitter.


11. Barclay Rae

Owner, Barclay Rae Consulting; Interim CEO, ITSMF UK

Barclay RaeSince the early 1990s, Barclay Rae has been working as a management consultant. During his tenure, he’s worked on over 500 service improvement projects, with many of them focused on IT service management. Currently, Barclay owns his own consultancy and is the interim CEO of ITSMF UK, where he’s helping develop new services and partnerships that reflect professionalism in service management. Follow Barclay on LinkedIn or Twitter.


12. Robert Young

Research Director of IT Service Management and Client Virtualization Software, IDC

Robert YoungFor nearly three years, Robert Young has been driving research agendas for IDC’s IT Service Management and virtual client computing (VCC) research practices, looking at how ITSM and VCC products are deployed within the enterprise and in the cloud. Before joining IDC, Robert also held IT positions with Comcast Spotlight, the U.S. Air Force, and Olympus. Follow Robert on LinkedIn or Twitter.


13. Ethan Banks

Co-Founder, Packet Pushers Interactive, LLC

Ethan BanksEthan Banks describes himself as an IT architect turned creator of engineering content. In 2010, he co-founded Packet Pushers Interactive, LLC, which has a team of IT professionals who create technical content for infrastructure engineers. Ethan also participates in several podcasts including his company’s own Packet Pushers Weekly, as well as Priority Queue, Datanauts, and Citizens of Tech. Follow Ethan on LinkedIn or Twitter.


14. Marc-Roger Gagné, MAPP

Senior Privacy and Data Governance Advocate, Gagné Legal Services

Marc-Roger GagnéMarc-Roger Gagné has spent the last two decades providing policy advice for both government and corporate client, working mainly in the privacy, data protection, and information management fields. He’s also been a board member for the Privacy and Access Council of Canada since 2010. Follow Marc-Roger on LinkedIn or Twitter.


15. Dan Twing

President & COO, Enterprise Management Associates

Dan TwingDan Twin has been working in technology since the mid-80s, garnering experience working with Fortune 100 companies and startups. As the President and COO of Enterprise Management Associates, Dan leads all operations from analyst to marketing activities. In addition, he works to define strategies, new products, manage accounts, and develop new business opportunities. Follow Dan on LinkedIn or Twitter.


16. Troy DuMoulin

Vice President of Research & Development, Pink Elephant

Troy DuMoulinTroy DuMoulin has been with Pink Elephant, an ITSM and business management training and consulting firm, since 1997. He started as an executive consultant and is now working as the Vice President of Research and Development, focusing on delivering strategic and tactical services to clients. Troy is also a frequent speaker at ITSM events and is a contributing author for the ITIL “Planning to Implement IT Service Management Book.” Follow Troy on LinkedIn or Twitter.


17. Dan Abushanab

CIO, Esri

Dan AbushanabDan Abushanab has a broad range of experience in business, IT, and operations, working for companies such as Polaroid and ATG before it was acquired by Oracle. In his current role as Esri’s CIO, Dan has been focused on putting the right people, processes, and technologies in place to help Esri become more a more agile and web-enable company. Some of the major projects he and his team have executed include delivering an enterprise architecture framework to connects systems and processes across different business units, as well as a new IT service delivery model that consolidated 18 processes into one. Follow Dan on LinkedIn or Twitter.


18. Doug Tedder

Principal Consultant, Tedder Consulting LLC

Doug TedderDoug Tedder says his passion is helping companies improve their ITSM and IT Governance capabilities, and he also spreads the passion through publishing insights on LinkedIn Pulse, the IBM Systems Blog, and the online journal of The Institute for Digital Transformation. In addition, Doug has nearly 25 certifications, and also earned Cherwell Software’s IT Industry Legend Award, which honors his commitment and contributions to mentoring fellow industry professionals. Follow Doug on LinkedIn or Twitter.


19. Claire Agutter

Director, Scopism

Claire AgutterClaire Agutter is an ITSM professional and online education specialist, and current Director of Scopism, a consultancy that helps IT management professionals keep pace with trends and maintain their talents. Earlier this year, Claire was named one of the Top 25 Thought Leaders in Technical Support and Service Management by HDI. In addition, she also contributes blogs to and has a number of certifications from AXELOS, the DevOps Institute, and others. Follow Claire on LinkedIn or Twitter.


20. Robert Stroud

Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

Robert StroudRobert Stroud has more than 25 years of industry experience, with specialities spanning cyber security, IT governance, risk management and, of course, IT service management. Robert has also been honored with several awards including itSMF UK’s Paul Rapport Award, which he received for his outstanding contributions to the field of IT service management. Follow Robert on LinkedIn or Twitter.


21. John Custy

ITSM Educator and Consultant, JPC Group

John CustyJohn Custy has been an ITSM consultant for nearly two decades, providing training and consulting to organizations who want to improve the services delivered to their customers. Beyond his work as a consultant, John has also been named one of the Top 25 Thought Leaders in Technical Support and Service Management by UBM Americas - HDI, and received Cherwell’s IT Industry Legend Award, and the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award from HDI. Follow John on LinkedIn or Twitter.


22. Joe Panettieri

Executive Vice President and Content Czar, ChannelE2E

Joe PanettieriJoe Panettieri is a tech media entrepreneur. His latest venture, ChannelE2E, aims to shift the IT channel conversation from tactical chatter to strategic discussions. Those discussions focus on managed service providers and VARs on business development, talent recruitment and management, customer engagement, and more. Follow Joe on LinkedIn or Twitter.


23. Sophie Danby

ITSM Marketing Consultant, Socommunity Ltd.

Sophie DanbySophie Danby is a unique addition to this list, specializing in ITSM consulting from a marketing perspective. She calls herself a “vocal and collaborative member of the international ITSM community,” often lending her insights and expertise through various publications and social media. Sophie is also an Associate Marketing Consultant with Follow Sophie on LinkedIn or Twitter.


24. Stuart Rance

Owner and ITSM Consultant, Optimal Service Management

Stuart RanceStuart Rance is an IT service management consultant, business owner, trainer, and author, boasting nearly four decades of experience in the technology realm. Stuart is also a Chartered Fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT (FBCS CITP), and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Follow Stuart on LinkedIn or Twitter.


25. Keith Townsend

CTO Advisor, The CTO Advisor

Keith TownsendKeith Townsend is an IT infrastructure expert who says he leverages his IT knowledge to make a difference. He’s worked with a number of different types of organizations including start-ups and government agencies, and is active on the conference circuit as a speaker. In addition, Keith has published more than 130 articles to LinkedIn Pulse, and has had his articles published in TechTarget and TechRepublic. Follow Keith on LinkedIn or Twitter.


Who’s on Your Watch List?

When it comes to thoughtful and engaged IT and ITSM professionals, these 25 individuals are just the tip of the iceberg. Who in the industry do you look to for inspiration? Who helps you keep a pulse on trends? Who else deserves recognition? Tell us in the comments section below, and stay up-to-date with these 25 inspiring industry leaders by subscribing to the list of ITSM Experts on Twitter.